With the help of a convicted killer, Michigan authorities found the remains of a mother of two on Monday, who had been missing a little over eight years.
Detroit Free Press reports that Douglas Stewart was convicted of the murder of his estranged wife Venus Stewart in 2011, although at the time, authorities had not found her body. Venus disappeared on April 26, 2010, from her parents’ home in Colon Township, where she moved after leaving the man who would eventually kill her.
Prosecutors said Stewart lured Venus to her parents’ mailbox under the premise that she had received a package. As she walked outside to check the mail, Stewart snatched the woman away by force. She was never seen alive again.
“I’m innocent of these crimes. I hope you continue to look for her, if not for me but for the children, so they know what happened to their mother,” Stewart said during his 2011 trial, according to the Sturgis Journal.
Investigators never forgot about Venus, and in hopes of finally bringing closure to her family, reportedly met Stewart’s prison demands. In exchange for access to an Xbox at the Saginaw Correctional Facility, where he’s being housed, Stewart told authorities that his estranged was dumped around 15 minutes away from her parents’ home, in an area the killer once chopped lumber at as a teen.
UPDATE: Michigan State Police confirmed this morning, the remains found in Fulton on Monday are Venus Stewart.https://t.co/F3uqn1JiYC
— WWMT-TV (@wwmtnews) October 24, 2018
Prison officials stated that the Xbox will not allow access to the Internet.
Medical anthropologists with Western Michigan University confirmed that the remains found were indeed of Venus after dental records matched. According to Detective/First Lieutenant Chuck Christensen with the Michigan State Police, Steward led investigators into the woods and brought them to his estranged wife’s remains “within 30 seconds.”
“We took him back into the woods and he looked, he looked in an area. He brought us right there in about 30 seconds,” Christensen said. “We recovered a tarp, which we know was used back in 2010 in which he described to us as being left in the hole with her when he dug the grave.”
St. Joseph County Prosecutor John McDonough said Stewart “showed no emotion” as he led authorities to the remains.
Detectives indicated Stewart is now offering to assist Michigan State Police with how killers think and with their homicide school training.
“Today is the most rewarding thing I’ve been able to do, being able to give the family closure,” McDonough said. “This is something we’ve all been working for … this is the one good thing (Doug Stewart) has done since he killed Venus.”
[Feature Photo: Douglas Stewart, Venus Stewart/Police Handout; Facebook]